Christie first questioned Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio, breaking tradition for the Governor who has been a staunch Trump supporter since the campaign.
“I think the pardon power is an extraordinary power for any executive, both the governor, and I’ve used it, and the president. My understanding has always been that one of the prerequisites you look for in giving a pardon is contrition for what you were convicted of,” Christie said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I didn’t see that in sheriff Arpaio. And so to me, one of the things that you need an acknowledgment of is an acknowledgment of guilt, first off, is required for pardon. This is not one that I would do because of the person not seeming contrite for what he was convicted of,” Christie said. “And so, you know, my concern about this is for us in these executive positions you need to use this power sparingly and you need to use it for people who are truly deserving.”
He went on to attack Cruz, calling the Senator a hypocrite over his response to Hurricane Harvey.
“He talks about playing politics. That’s what he did with people’s lives in 2012 and 2013. He was playing politics to make himself try to look like the most conservative guy in town,” the New Jersey governor said. “This is why politics have become so cynical in Washington, is statements like that. He should just stand up now and say ‘you know what? I was wrong. I was wrong in 2012. It was the wrong thing to do and now I hope that the people of New Jersey and New York are willing to let bygones be bygones and vote for relief for Texas.”
Cruz disputed the comments by saying:
“I’m sorry that there are politicians who are really desperate to get their names in the news and are saying whatever they need to do that. We have a crisis on the ground of people who are hurting right now. People who are in harm’s way, whose lives and families are in jeopardy as we speak. And I’ll tell you, my focus, and I wish the focus of others, would be on saving the lives that are being threatened,” the senator said. “For folks who are focused on raising political shots and snipes about the Sandy Bill, facts matter. And the fact is that the Sandy Bill was over 50 billion dollars and 70 percent of it was not emergency funding. Only 30 percent of the funding was emergency funding.”
Asked about Cruz’s specific figure, that two-thirds of the spending in the bill was unrelated to Sandy, Christie said the senator “just made it up. Ted’s particularly good at that. He just made it up. You know it and I know it. He made it up because it sounded good.”
“The disgraceful part of that, the truly disgraceful part of what we just saw was that he’s not telling the truth, standing in a recovery center where people are suffering and it’s just not right,” the governor said.